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  Topic : Do you have 4GB Ram? Please read this. New Topic
xylo
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From: France
Posted:2/13/2007 11:36:00 PM # 1
Hi,

More and more people are installing 4GB of Ram nowadays, and with the release of Windows Vista there are many more people who will upgrade to 4GB since Vista supports it, contrary to the 32-bit versions of Windows XP.  (4GB Ram is supported by Windows Server 2003 (32-bit and 64-bit), as well as 64-bit versions of Windows XP).

I think I have uncovered a bug in the BIOS of my Asus P5B Deluxe motherboard (R1.03G, Bios v0910) when the "Memory Remap Feature" is enabled (to make full use of my 4GB Ram in Windows Server 2003 for example). If this feature is not enabled, the BIOS and Windows only see around 3GB (the exact amount can vary from system to system).  So I need this feature to be enabled.

The problem is that if this feature is enabled, the 2 PCI cards I have installed have problems, as follows:

1) My SB Audigy4 card cannot output sound on 4 of the 6 speakers. Even though the Speaker Setting is set to 5.1 speakers, all sound comes out from the 2 front speakers only (during the speaker test, I get no sound from the Center, Subwoofer, Rear Left or Rear Right speakers). All sounds whose destination is one of these 4 speakers comes out on the front speakers instead (i.e. during the speaker test, I hear the words "Rear Right" coming out of the Front Left speakers, and the words "Front Center" coming out of both the Front Left and Front Right speakers). To run the speaker test, Creative Speaker Settings applet and click on the "Channel" or the "Noise" button.  The sound test works perfectly as soon as I disable the Memory Remap feature.

I have just received word from Creative that they believe this problem is related to the motherboard,  which I find reasonable to believe, because I also have a similarly strange problem with my other PCI card when this feature is enabled:

2) My Hauppauge WinTV PCI card (an analog TV card) cannot display the TV image when the "Memory Remap Feature" is enabled in the motherboard BIOS. I can change channels, and hear the sound of the different channels, but I get no image. I tried playing with the overlay controls of my ATI X1950-XT graphics card, but nothing works. The TV image becomes visible as soon as I disable the Memory Remap feature in the BIOS.

Someone suggested to me to try the /3GB switch in boot.ini. Although not very convinced this could solve my problems, I did try it, and it did not solve them.  The /3GB switch only changes the allocation of the available addressing space between Windows and the application, it does not change memory mappings the way the Memory Map Feature does.

I have reported this problem to Asus, and am waiting for a response.

In the meantime, I am interested to know if you have the same type of problem.  So if you have installed 4GB of RAM (4x1GB) on any socket 775-based ASUS motherboard (not only the P5B Deluxe, this problem could also occur on any other intel motherboard from Asus, if they use the same BIOS code for the Memory Remap feature), and if you have PCI cards installed, please tell us if you are having any strange problems.

Thanks, and I hope many of you will answer!


PS: The problem may not occur with 64-bit OS versions because I think the "Memory Remap Feature" can be left disabled for such systems even if they have 4GB of Ram installed (the 4 GB addressing range limitation is due to the 32-bit addresses).  But please post a small message here anyway if you're running 64-bit WinXP.

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Marshall
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Posted:2/14/2007 8:18:00 AM # 2
Hang on there!  It is all too easy for the other hardware vendors to simply blame the motherboard for these issues.  However, another possibility is much more likely in these situations.

The memory remap setting in the motherboard remaps the hardware access to the region beyond what most 32-bit applications can utilize.  In XP, unless applications (and drivers) are specifically written to be compatible with PAE, they won't be able to see addresses that has been remapped to beyond the 4GB boundaries. 

For applications, the effect is less than apparent because they request RAM addresses which are managed by the OS anyway and XP shields them from a certain degree of the problems as OS manages the memory allocations.

For drivers, because they need to interact with hardware, unless the drivers are aware and can access addresses beyond 32-bit (the x86 architecture actually has 40-bit addressing), they will not be able to access hardwares that utilize DMA to the device.  This is most likely a driver problem. 

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hoppie
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Posted:2/14/2007 9:38:00 AM # 3
Just out of curiosity, is this also an issue in 32 bit Vista? I ask because I was thinking of adding more RAM to my system (to 4GB), but not if I really won't be able to use it.

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xylo
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From: France
Posted:2/14/2007 3:40:00 PM # 4

Quote:
Author: Marshall Posted: 2/14/2007 8:18:00 AM

Hang on there!  It is all too easy for the other hardware vendors to simply blame the motherboard for these issues.  However, another possibility is much more likely in these situations.

The memory remap setting in the motherboard remaps the hardware access to the region beyond what most 32-bit applications can utilize.  In XP, unless applications (and drivers) are specifically written to be compatible with PAE, they won't be able to see addresses that has been remapped to beyond the 4GB boundaries. 

For applications, the effect is less than apparent because they request RAM addresses which are managed by the OS anyway and XP shields them from a certain degree of the problems as OS manages the memory allocations.

For drivers, because they need to interact with hardware, unless the drivers are aware and can access addresses beyond 32-bit (the x86 architecture actually has 40-bit addressing), they will not be able to access hardwares that utilize DMA to the device.  This is most likely a driver problem. 

Hi Marshall,

I don't know exactly what the BIOS does to the hardware addresses (i.e. not system memory) when the Memory Remap Feature is enabled, but it seems to me they are left where they were.  I say this because Memtest86 finds my 4GB RAM divided into 2 chunks, 2GB between addresses 0 to 2GB, and the remaining 2GB RAM between addresses 4 to 6GB.  So it seems the addresses between 2GB and 4GB are left alone, and I think this is where the system maps all the PCI bus addresses.  But there may be a small problem in this hardware address remapping when the Memory Remap feature is enabled, which is causing partial disfunctionality in PCI cards.  (If there were no hardware at all at the addresses which the drivers are using to address the cards, I would have probably met with system crashes rather than the problems I described above).  I have not extensively tested the on-board devices (sound chip, LAN adapters, USB, graphics card, hard disks etc...), but there's a chance that even those are affected in some inconspicous way that would make you think it's a driver problem.

Since 32-bit software (including drivers) cannot readily access anything beyound 4GB address range (I'm not certain they have access to the PAE APIs, but even if they do, they wouldn't need to use it since the hardware is supposedly still within the 4GB range), the OS and BIOS have to map any addresses that are above 4GB into the 4GB address range, so that the drivers and applications can use them.

I don't believe applications and drivers have access to the memory management unit either. Since the BIOS "Memory Remap Feature" must be enabled for even the OS to be able to see the extra RAM, I don't believe even the OS can do that remapping by itself.  Therefore I think it could very well be an issue with the BIOS.
Of course I may be wrong.  If I am, someone will certainly correct me. :)

However, even if you are right and it is the duty of the driver to take this case into account, there are certainly such a large number of drivers out there that will not work properly in this case, that it does make sense for the BIOS to find a workable solution, if at all possible.


@hoppie:
If I'm right and it's a BIOS problem, then I'm guessing it will also apply to Vista (i.e. problems with hardware drivers, whether integrated or on expansion cards, if you enable the Memory Remap feature).

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xylo
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From: France
Posted:2/16/2007 7:51:00 PM # 5
I just verified that, whether the Memory Remap Feature is ON or OFF, the address space used by Windows for hardware is always in the same place, at the same addresses.  I used the System Information applet that is part of Windows to print out the address allocation in each case and compared them.

My system seems to need 1088 MB for hardware addresses.  Windows reserves 1088 MB of addresses from 4GB and going down, irrespective of whether the BIOS feature is enabled.  So with 4GB of physical RAM installed, with addresses going from 0 to 4GB, I am robbed of the use of the top 1088 MB of RAM and am left with 4096-1088=3008 MB of usable RAM when the Memory Remap Feature is not enabled.  When it is, 2GB of RAM are given the addresses 0-2GB, and 2GB reside at 4-6GB, while Windows uses his 1088MB between address 3008MB and 4096MB for devices and God knows what it does with the remaing 2048-1088=960MB address range between 2GB and 3008MB.  In any case, the hardware gets the same addresses in both cases, in the 3008-4096MB range.

So there must be something subtle going on here.  Just a crazy theory:  It could be that Windows (and hence the driver) "thinks" that a card's memory addresses are at a certain place, while in fact there is only physical RAM there.  That would explain why no hardware error occurs when the drivers address that range (there *is* something there, only it's not its card's memory), but the data being read is wrong since it's the RAM.  So the hardware of the TV card could be writing the captured image into its memory, but the driver doesn't actually read that memory, but some unused RAM instead, and reads zeroes, hence a black TV image.  It is also possible that reading a certain card's memory address reads one physical memory (either the the memory of interest which belongs to the card, or some other chunk of the system RAM DIMMs), but writing to it writes to another physical memory.

I'm still hoping some people will come up and tell us if they're having any problems with devices when that feature is enabled.

By the way Marshall, you seem to have 4GB of RAM installed with 64-bit Vista.  Did you enable that feature?  Are you having any problems, for example with your X-Fi card's multichannel ability (perhaps only on the analog speaker outputs)?


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AP-123
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From: United States
Posted:2/17/2007 12:09:00 AM # 6
To clarify - if running vista 32, do you want memory remap on or off?

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Hauser
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Posted:2/17/2007 5:42:00 AM # 7

Running Vista32 "Remapping" should be OFF.

In case you have 4Gb installed you can use up to 3,2GB (depending on Hardware) when remapping is off.

When it is ON the OS only will see 2GB.
(Because the other 2GB are remapped out of the reach of an 32bit OS)

If you have installed only 2GB remapping is not necessary anyway.

Jepe

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Messy
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Posted:2/17/2007 10:14:00 AM # 8
I have an P5B-E Plus Motherboard running Vista 32bit ultimate with 4 x Corsair 1GB DDR2 XMS2-6400C5 sticks of RAM.

If I insert 4 x1gig RAM and boot normally both the POST and Windows will only see 3007 megs. (If I remove 1 stick it still only shows 3007 megs.)

If I turn on remapping, the POST screen will show 4096 megs but windows will now only show 2047 megs.

This is after forcing PAE through BCDEDIT (there is no boot.ini in vista)... although I shouldn't need to do this in Vista as it is supposed to start up automatically along with DEP.






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Hauser
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From: Austria
Posted:2/17/2007 6:18:00 PM # 9

Hi messy,

please read the previous posts. It´s all there.

Your system behaves absolut normal.

Vista32 is not able to address more than 3,2GB (or less - depending on other Hardware).
Remapping on your system should be OFF.

If you need more RAM you should turn to Vista64.

Jepe

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Messy
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From: United Kingdom
Posted:2/17/2007 9:12:00 PM # 10

Quote:
Author: Hauser Posted: 2/17/2007 6:18:00 PM

Hi messy,

please read the previous posts. It´s all there.

Your system behaves absolut normal.

Vista32 is not able to address more than 3,2GB (or less - depending on other Hardware).
Remapping on your system should be OFF.

If you need more RAM you should turn to Vista64.

Jepe


Hi and thanks.

So what happens to the other gig? Does it get diverted and used elsewhere, or does it just get ignored?

Would removing it affect dual channel mode?

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